What Is A Debt Collector?
Debt Collection Lawsuits in Washington and Oregon
Are you facing debt? Have you been sued over a credit card debt, personal loan, medical debt, or business loan? Did you just receive a letter in your mail stating that you are being sued on your debt in Vancouver WA or Oregon? You’re not alone! 8 out of 10 Americans are facing debt issues. But when debt collection agencies and creditors who get impatient will often file a lawsuit against these types of debts, believing you won’t take any action, leading to a default judgment that will ultimately end with them garnishing your wages and zeroing your bank accounts.
When you are facing a debt collection lawsuit, it can be confusing at first and complicated. But the biggest mistake you can make is to ignore the complaint and let time pass! The sooner you take action, the better the outcome will be. Make your move by reaching out to a Vancouver debt defense attorney near you.
At Northwest Debt Defense, our Washington debt defense lawyers from Seattle, Tacoma, and Vancouver, and our Oregon debt defense attorneys from Portland, Salem, and Medford, help clients threatened with a debt lawsuit to realize that they can take the upper hand in the find. If you are wondering what a debt collector is, our professional debt collection attorneys will defend your rights as a debtor, both in and out of court.
What is a Debt Collector?
A debt collector is a firm or organization specializing in collecting delinquent account debts. Corporations employ numerous debt collectors owed money by debtors for a fee or a portion of the entire amount collected. Some debt collectors are debt purchasers; these firms purchase debt at a fraction of its face value and then attempt to collect the whole amount.
A collection agency may also be known as a debt collector.
The borrower’s delinquency will be reported to the credit bureau if he or she is unable to settle their obligations or make regular payments on a loan. Not only will their credit history be negatively affected, but within three to six months of default, their debt will be transferred to a collections agency or debt collector.
A debt collector may be responsible for obtaining past-due payments on credit card balances, phone bills, auto loan payments, utility payments, and back taxes, among other types of delinquent invoices.
Employing a debt collector to recover overdue debts is less expensive than pursuing clients directly. The debt collector has the means and resources necessary to locate a debtor, even if they have moved or changed their phone number.
What is the Debt Collection Procedure in Oregon?
Common causes of debt include breaching a contract or agreement with a creditor. The most prevalent types of debt are credit card debt and medical bill debt. The majority of oral and written consumer debt repayment agreements can be enforced. In contrast, the majority of business or commercial obligations must be in writing to be enforceable. If the agreement specifies a minimum payment amount, the creditor is not required to accept anything less. The likelihood of a lawsuit being filed against you is high.
Even if you inform them that you have lost your job, fallen ill, or simply cannot afford to repay the loan, you are still responsible for the agreed-upon amount. You are not required to pay it immediately, however.
The creditor may sue you despite the absence of a legal contract. When a creditor lends you money, performs services for you, or gives you goods, and you keep it or profit from the services.
When Can Debt Collectors Contact You?
Your debt collection attorney can tell you that under FDCPA, a debt collector may contact you by mail, in person, by telephone or by telegram during “convenient hours” (commonly between 8 AM and 9 PM). Within five days of the first contact with you, the debt collector must send you a written notice telling you:
- How much money you reportedly owe;
- The name of the creditor to whom you owe the debt;
- That unless you, within thirty days after receipt of the notice, dispute the validity of the debt or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed valid by the debt collector
- That if you dispute the debt in full or in part within those thirty days, the debt collector will obtain verification of the debt and mail it to the consumer; and
- That upon your written request within the thirty days, the debt collector will provide you with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor.
The first notice must also include certain warnings, including a statement that the communication is from a debt collector and that any information obtained may be used to collect the debt. Except for pleadings associated with legal action, all subsequent communication from the debt collector must also include this warning.
Your debt collection attorney will want you to remember that the thirty day notice requirement does not limit the debt collector from taking other measures to collect the debt during that period, including starting a lawsuit against you.
What are the Things Debt Collectors Cannot Do?
Debt collectors cannot take any actions against you that are deceptive, fraudulent, or designed to harass or intimate you. In other words, a debt collector cannot take any action designed to force you to pay a debt against your will. For example, a debt collector cannot:
- Threaten to refer your account to an attorney, harm your credit rating, repossession or garnishment, without the actual intention of action on the threat.
- Make repeated telephone calls or telephone calls at unreasonable times;
- Place telephone calls in an inconvenient place. For example, contacting you at work in violation of a policy by your employer that the debt collector knows or following a request by you that they not contact you at work;
- Inform your employer of the purpose of the call, unless first asked by the employer;
- Use obscenity, racial slurs or insults;
- Send letters which appear to have come from a court;
- Seek collection fees or interest charges not permitted by your contract or by state law;
- Request post-dated checks with the intention to prosecute if they bounce;
- Make false representations in association with efforts to collect the debt, including the false claim that the person contacting you in relation to the debt is an attorney, falsely claiming to have started a lawsuit, using a false name, or using stationery that is designed to look like an official court or government communication;
- Use false claims to collect information about the you, such as pretending to be conducting a survey; and
- Threaten you with arrest if you do not pay the debt.
How Can You Stop Collectors From Contacting You?
If you have a debt collection attorney, you can instruct the debt collector to make all inquiries about the debt through your attorney. Once the debt collector receives instructions to make inquiries through your attorney, they no longer have permission to make any direct contact with you.
If you simply want the debt collector to stop contacting you, you must send a written notice instructing them to stop. Once the collection agency receives that letter, they may contact you only one additional time to notify you that the collection agency or creditor intends to take a specific action in relation to the debt.
Sending this type of notice does not resolve the debt. For example, the creditor may file a lawsuit against you in order to collect the debt, even if you prohibit further contact with the collection agency.
Speak with a Reliable Debt Defense Attorney in Oregon Today!
Knowing what a debt collector is and how you can deal with them gives you a step ahead in trying to beat them in their debt collection game. At Northwest Debt Defense Law Firm, we do not just help our clients rebuild their credit after bankruptcy, we also help them obtain the right treatment when it comes to debt collection. Our focus is not just on eliminating debt but on helping you return to the financial mainstream as quickly and efficiently as possible. Contact us now to achieve debt relief today. Let’s talk about your debt and analyze it today!
Northwest Debt Defense Law Firm
650 NE Holladay St, Suite 1640
Portland, OR 97232, United States
NW Debt Defense Law Firm is a Debt Relief Agency. Where appropriate we file petitions for relief under the Bankruptcy Code solely for consumers in the District of Oregon. We represent both Oregon and Washington consumers in collections law suits in Oregon and Washington state courts.